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I talked to my husband. It was a wise choice. As usual.

When I got home from work yesterday, I found my husband sitting on our bed reading the letters we wrote to each other when we first met, back when he was in Boston and I was in Chicago. Because I’m a monster, I pounced on this moment and forced him to talk about infertility. (Okay, not immediately. I let him get a drink under his belt first.) The most interesting thing to emerge from our conversation was the following: he hates talking about it because he hates thinking about the future. The future-oriented strategy (always planning my next steps) that is so crucial to my ability to cope is depressing to him. He likes to think each individual step will work. So his progression has been:
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.

We’ll do IUI and  I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll do IUI and  I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll do IUI and  I’ll get pregnant.
We’ll do surgery and then we’ll do IUI and I’ll get pregnant.

And now,
We’ll do surgery and then we’ll have sex during my fertile window and I’ll get pregnant.

With each failed cycle, I become more and more distressed. He feels impatient, sad, envious of our friends with kids, sorry that he can’t do anything to help me, but NOT ANY LESS HOPEFUL ABOUT THE NEXT CYCLE.

He’s not wrong to take this attitude. He’s more optimistic than I am, and his optimism makes sense. Why not think it will work? What’s the point of thinking otherwise? Our long-term prognosis IS good. He’s just as entitled to his feelings as I am to mine and I genuinely don’t blame him or feel angry at him about this. I guess I’m just so…utterly un-psyched…about this difference in our approaches. The one thing that makes me feel better is something that makes him feel bad. He doesn’t want to talk about how to make six months of timed intercourse easier on us because he doesn’t think we’ll be doing six months of timed intercourse. He expects the magical wonderful rainbows and flowers future to actually appear. Dude.

I don’t have a real point here, just needed to express my astonishment. But I did want to say in response to the (as always, totally brilliant and insightful) comments y’all left, to anyone who tells us to get a hobby to take our minds off our empty wombs, I say: TAKE THAT BULLSHIT REMARK AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS UNTIL YOU HIT ELBOW. My husband told me to get a hobby once, too. Now he has a remark shoved up his ass, and apparently it’s very uncomfortable. But he brought it on himself. OMG, do you think it might affect his sperm count?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. My husband is really similar. He tells me constantly that he doesn't worry about us getting pregnant, and he doesn't see our inability to conceive thus far as a reflection of our future ability. (Which I think is a crock considering he is the more logical/scientific of us two.) I don't want to chalk it up to a "guy thing," but I do think that they probably don't hear the biological clock ticking as loudly as we do, so they don't feel the stress building with each cycle that goes by. So unfair. BTW, I think it is so sweet that your DH was rereading your letters.

    April 14, 2010
  2. Al #

    How in the world do our husbands think this way? My husband is totally rational, sane, logical man yet he has this same everything will just be perfect and wonderful every.single.cycle. And yet when each step of rainbows turns out to fail, he's totally okay with it. It astounds me.I'm glad you two talked it through and you're feeling a bit better about things. Very cute that your hubs was re-reading your letters.

    April 14, 2010
  3. Good for you, Bunny. Sometimes it's nerve-biting or awkward to initiate these kinds of talks. I was touched by the image of him reading your letters. 😉 Over the weekend when I was basically laying around the house pretending that some extra amount of bedrest was the key to my embryo(s) landing some luxurious real estate in the neighborhood of my uterus, my husband said, "We couldn't do this if we had kids. We couldn't just cancel everything and be lazy and nap." He went on to say something about how good our life is now, etc. At first I was hurt by his comments. Like, was he lamenting that having kids precludes freedom and future lazy weekends? Dude, we just wrote a ginormous check and underwent intense treatment for just the opportunity to preclude these kinds of weekends! UGH! But, then it occurred to me that he's just rationalizing our potential cycle failure. Ever the more optimistic and relaxed one of our relationship, he was just looking at a possible upswing. Sometimes when they don't join us in our pessimism and dread, it feels like they don't get it..but it's just that they're hardwired differently.

    April 14, 2010
  4. It's such a double-edged sword to have such a confident, optimistic husband. On the one hand, you are a little miffed that he's not drowning in fear and sadness on a daily basis because of this horribly difficult journey. But on the other hand…what a ROCK he is! How wonderful to have a partner who 110% believes you will be pregnant, and SOON. I think our husbands are a lot alike. Sometimes I get upset than mine isn't weepy and sad enough when the going gets tough…but then when I have a shoulder cry on and his strength supporting me, I feel so grateful we can be so opposite. Sometimes all I need is someone telling me they believe in me getting pregnant, because 9 minutes and 59 seconds out of 10 minutes, I don't believe in me. I'm glad that you guys talked. And boy do I ever want to see you prove him right by getting KU during that unmedicated, post-op sex in your fertile windows.

    April 14, 2010
  5. I want to comment on a post that dates back several posts but I was afraid you might not see it if I did it there. Its about the pregnancy after myo stories. I don't have a story of my own, but I am scheduled for a robotic myo on May 12 and would love to be able to have someone who is going through a similar process to connect with. So if you are looking for support from someone who can relate come over to my blog and we can link up.Are you having an ab myo?As for a sucess,I follow a blog, Lucky High Heals (have you seen it)? about a lovely woman who had an ab myo last year and gave birth to twins 6 days ago. There are a lot of success stories out there! Best of luck.

    April 14, 2010
  6. i hear you … i guess guys and girls just cope differently. i prefer exploring the "what if's" but dh won't entertain me on these. he figures, what's the point? just take ONE DAY AT A TIME. i can't stand thinking that way. i need a long term plan. if x, then y. if not x, then z. if w doesn't happen by v months, then z … i just NEED TO KNOW.since we live in nyc, we don't need a car, but it'd be nice to have one. so, we've said that we'll buy an awesome brand spanking new car when i'm pregnant – to get ready for baby. um, so now that baby is nowhere near, it's starting to irritate me more and more that the summer is coming up and it would be SO NICE to have a car to get away from the city on weekends. my sister and her hubby are selling their old 2nd car, so i suggested we buy their car from them, but dh thinks there's no point bc we'll be pregnant in july and we'll need a brand new car (new = safe in his eyes). so, while i'm hopefuly for ivf #2 in july, in no way am i just assuming it's gonna work. up until now, every time i assume baby is around the corner and take steps accordingly, it just doesn't work out!! so now, i'm ALL ABOUT acting like baby is never coming, so then maybe baby will 'inconvenience' us and come! the universe just seems to work that way with me – when i PLAN, then i don't get what i want. so, i suggested to hubby that we sell our place, quit our jobs, and go travelling for a year. bc, SURELY, if we do this, then baby will come asap, right? but meanie pants (aka: dh) just laughed me off the couch. *the nerve*.

    April 14, 2010
  7. ASP #

    This made me smiiiiile! Guys are just like that. R seems to think the same thing even with, we'll just call it 5 for the sake of the next failed cycle, 5 failed IVF cycles under our belts. He seems to think if we keep trying and timing stuff "it's just going to work" Hmmmm, probably not but definitely wishful thinking on his part. Not mine though. I'm a realist and know that the odds at this point are probably slim to none. I think our failed cycles have hit home a little more lately because all, and I repeat ALL, of our good friends are pregnant. Not that I'm relishing in his sadness but I feel like he's where I was at 8 months ago with our 2nd failed cycle. It's tough for everyone to be a part of this stupid game so I hope things get better for you guys and you get knocked up on some "sex during your fertile window" Ha. 😉

    April 14, 2010
  8. JC #

    I agree, that's so sweet of your hubby to read the old letters…awwwwwwwwwwweeeeeee.And I bet that's what my hubby thinks like too. He's so damn optimistic it makes me want to puke. I sometimes think he's even more optimistic to try and cheer me up. Idk. Frustrating. I'm with you, I need to think about the future…and he hates talking about the future. Blah. He also told me to get a hobby once, lol. My response was probably "go fuck yourself"…I've been using that one a lot lately. 😉

    April 14, 2010
  9. You made me laugh 🙂 ohhhhh Husbands. Mine was like that too. They just think about it and process it differently to the way we do, and I agree with the pp who said they really don't hear the biological clock ticking in the way we do.I'm glad you talked. 🙂

    April 14, 2010
  10. Dude. Wow. That is astonishing to hear his side of it. It's really good that he thinks in a linear fashion instead of the depressing cycle that we seem to roll. Like, not, "here we go again" but "here we go." My hobby is putting comments back in people's mouths via their cornhole. Your approach seems much more strategic.

    April 14, 2010
  11. hey – since you're envious of my uti's and yeast infections, once i figure out how/why i get them so frequently (no, it's not bc of too much s*xy time, as my girlfriends think) i'll let ya know how how to get 'em more easily :o)i don't really get either anymore (since i started the daily acidopholus pills), but a yeast infection reared its ugly head RIGHT at the START of my ivf last month. i thought i was gonna kill myself, and dh's response? he had the balls to GIGGLE. GIGGLE!!!

    April 14, 2010
  12. That is definitely a guy thing – totally optimistic about every try, every month. My hubby doesn't think we'll ever have to move on to adoption, because he is positive we'll get pregnant on our own, but thank goodness he doesn't refuse to humor me and discuss the possibility of "someday in the future". I do try and stay vague just for that purpose I think – he's totally about taking it one day at a time. I guess we all need that balance in our relationships. But yeah, that is tough sometimes.

    April 15, 2010
  13. JB #

    In the beginning of our IF bullshit, I had to remind my husband when the big O was due, and I was the task master for timed sex. I would show him the OPK stick in the morning and let him know that he would be expected to perform that night. I figured he would just think, hey, extra sex, but before long that was the only time we had sex, which made it nearly negative fun. Even so, every month he was convinced it had an equal chance to "work" while I was convinced the chances were dwindling. Then we started IUIs and then IVF…and our emotional meltdowns really began. We worked it out (by having a similar sit-down-we-need-to-talk talk). And then, when we were on a break between IVF cycles, I was content to enjoy a few months of sex-for-fun sex, believing that we would not have a miracle IF between-cycles pregnancy (and we did not), but he actually bugged me to buy OPKs and time the sex "just in case." Poor guy had begun to drink the chronic IFer Kool-Aid. Men, husbands in particular, and IF partners specifically, are just wired differently. They approach these problems like they have actual solutions. To which I say, meh. I think all you can do is know where each other stands and respect it, and agree to be supportive even if you think the stance is ridonkulous.

    April 15, 2010
  14. I'm glad you talked to Mr. Bunny and that it went well. It's strange – my husband is exactly the same. Optimistic. Unable to consider any form of forward thinking. I'm the cynic (i.e, realist) in the duo. And I don't know what I'd do if we were BOTH cynics about this. I need his optimism. It keeps me going, so that even when I fall really low I never entirely give up hope. (My acupuncturist once told me that because my husband was the one without issues he would "carry" me…I thought it was sweet, and he's done a lot of carrying of an emotional kind).All of that said, if he suggested a hobby (which he has probably thought but never dared to verbalize): I would shoot him.

    April 15, 2010

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